Meyer Lemon-Olive Oil Cake

lemon olive oil cake

I’d heard tale of this cake for many moons before I finally tried making it myself. The thought of using an entire half-cup of fancy and expensive extra-virgin olive oil in a cake was what put me off it for so long. Fortunately, after 3+ years of cooking for a living, my miserly ways have become dulled so much that when I received a 10 pound bag of homegrown Meyer lemons from my friend Kristina and a lemon olive oil cake was suggested by a community member, I didn’t even bat an eye.

This is a not-too-sweet cake that works well for breakfast or tea or snacking. If you’d like to make it a little fancier, you can drizzle with the lemon glaze from this lemon pound cake recipe or top with a spoonful of whipped cream. You know what else would go well and be stunning next to a slice of this cake? A scoop of this grape ice cream. Because of all the oil, this cake stays perfectly soft and delicious several days after baking.

Oh! And one more thing, I normally hate when people specify “organic” or “grass-fed” or “high-quality”-whatever in recipes and I avoid it as if it were the plague and I almost always stop reading recipes that use adjectives like that because in almost all cases, it makes no difference to the recipe at all. But, I do think it’s relevant here. I used 4 pasture-raised eggs in the cake I made for the photos on this recipe post. If you’ve ever done a side-by-side comparison of pasture-raised eggs vs standard eggs you’ll see a marked difference in the color of the yolks; the former being much deeper goldenrod yellow than the latter. This quality is what gives the cake such a beautiful lemon-yellow color. So, there’s that. If you want a pretty yellow cake like this one, use some fancy expensive eggs to go with your fancy expensive olive oil and fancy (and free in my case) Meyer lemons. Make a fancy cake!

meyer lemon cake

4.8 from 5 reviews
Meyer Lemon-Olive Oil Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 10
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  1. Oil a 9-10" springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set oven to 350ºF.
  2. Whip eggs and sugar together on high speed until fluffy and very pale, almost white (about 5 minutes).
  3. Turn speed to low and stream in oil, lemon juice and zest and vanilla (I mix these all together in a large measuring cup with a spout and pour them in).
  4. Whisk flour and dry ingredients together and fold these in by hand. The mixture will be very fluffy and foamy.
  5. Pour into prepared springform pan and bake 350 for 45 minutes. The top will become quite brown, as will the edges.
  6. Allow to cool 30 minutes in the pan, then unhook and remove from pan, cool completely on a rack.
  7. Cake keeps at room temperature, covered, for up to 7 days without suffering loss of texture or quality.
Meyer lemons come into season November-January in the US. Regular lemons can also be used if Meyer can't be found.

For more recipes using Meyer lemons, check out Kristina’s site: GirlGoneGrits! She’s got a HUGE Meyer lemon tree in her yard and every year spreads the lemon love throughout Austin, collecting the recipes we all create on her site.


  1. Oh your cake looks really good. I made an olive oil cake years ago and forgot how delicious it was. Thanks for reminding me with your gorgeous pic, and thanks for the blog love as well.

  2. Miss you girl – my other YouTube subscriptions don’t satisfy. Hope you’re feeling better.

  3. Rachael Macry says:

    Hilah, I made this cake yesterday as my (grown-ass) son’s birthday cake. Meyer’s lemons were on sale at HEB this week so I thought I’d give it a shot; it is fantastic! I was wondering how a half cup of olive oil would work out in a cake.. well I have never had such a soft yet toothsome crumb to a cake! So moist.. so fulfilling! A little slice *did* satisfy. It was wonderful! And deceptively easy. Well deceptively easy to me, for I am not a baker. I ended up using probably twice as much zest but otherwise followed the recipe to a T. I used more Meyer’s lemon juice to make a lemon sugar glaze for the top, to make it birthday-fancy (just swirled on, not covering the cake completely).

    And now I am brainstorming: What would happen if I use Stevia instead of sugar? Cooking is half science/half art. I can be arty as hell but, doesn’t matter if the science won’t work! I think I will test it out!

    • Hi Rachael! So glad y’all enjoyed this. It is very rich, so it’s a good thing it keeps so well.
      I’ve never tried baking with stevia. I’m not a fan of the taste in drinks, which is the only way I’ve ever had it. But you are so right that arty doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work. :)
      Let me know if you try it, how it goes!

  4. That cake looks wonderful and I’m straight digging the fact that it isn’t overly sweet. I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better, Hilah. :)

  5. Baked yesterday, very tasty, used juice lemon plus orange half and half

  6. Hilah,
    Made it today, used Gluten free flour it was totally yummy, moist. I also used Trucua/sugar blend. It was great. Your right, I bought some local fresh eggs and it was a beautiful shade of yellow. I have an orange tree so I will adapt it for Easter
    Thanks and glad your feeling better.

    • Oh marvelous! So happy to hear it works with those changes for GF And low sugar. And oranges will be delicious. Maybe with some rainbow sherbet on the side for Easter. That would look beautiful.
      Thanks, Donna.

  7. Rebecca Owens says:

    I just made this cake on Wednesday and three of us had a slice and then brought what was left to work the next day and it vanished in seconds. It was delicious. Next time I will make two pans and put some of my home-made lemon curd in the middle and lemon cream cheese frosting. Perfect for an afternoon tea. Thanks Hilah

  8. Hilah, I’m having problems getting olive oil cakes to rise. Do you think I’m not leaving it in the oven long enough, or perhaps the heat needs to be calibrated? It wasn’t soft and fluffy, it was dense, almost like a pie. Thanks, Therese

    • Hi Therese,
      Olive oil cakes will always be a little denser than a butter cake because you don’t get to beat air into the batter as you do when creaming butter in a butter cake.
      But… sounds like yours might be even denser than it should be. Is it possible your baking powder is expired? Your oven could also be too cool. I’d check the baking powder first and then check the oven temp.

  9. Hey Hilah! Looking forward to trying this sometime. Just fyi, the little “Save” option in your recipe box doesn’t work anymore. Looks like ZipList went out of business.

    • Hey Melody!
      Yes, ziplist closed down a couple months ago. I haven’t had time to find out if there’s a good replacement. Know of one you’ve seen on other food blogs?

  10. I don’t own a springform pan and want to try this. any ideas if I could use a regular cake pan? silly question but I really don’t know the answer.

    • Hi Laura!
      You can, but you will need to line the bottom of your pan with parchment paper. The reason to use the springform is so you can easily remove the cake from the pan. The parchment will help with that. Also be sure to oil the sides well.

  11. I normally don’t comment, but my husband walked in this morning as I was watching some of your videos, and he asked who you were and I said you were the lemon cake recipe. He asked if you had a comment section and if you did I needed to comment.

    So, here it is:

    I made this awesomeness yesterday for my hubby and two 16 year old boys. They at first were all like, “I don’t really like fruity desserts.” I said just try it. I think this could be my new favorite non-chocolate cake. Then, I came in the kitchen an hour later and all but 1/4 of it was gone. Gone. Crumbs on the plate gone. Thanks for a great recipe!!

  12. This recipe is absolutely delicious, didn’t change a thing.
    Thank you Hilah!!

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